I've read 18 out of 416 pages.

Match Me If You Can - Michele Gorman

      'So I said something fairly tame like...'  She lowered her voice.  So embarrassing.  'Like I'd wear a body stocking.  He said he'd like that.  Then he asked if I'd wee on him while he wore the body stocking.'

      'Wow,' Catherine said, keeping a straight face, Rachel noted.  She probably had a tick box on the website for such fetishes.

      'That's sick!' Sarah said. 'You should have reported him to the police.'

      'For what?  Wanting to wee on me?  It's not a crime.  The crime was that I didn't just get up and leave.  But it seemed rude not to finish my drink.  That's when it got really weird.'

      'That's when it got weird?'  Catherine said.

      'Did he start punching himself?'  Sarah asked.

      Rachel shook her head.

      'No, no punching...?'

      Sarah's mind worked in mysterious ways.

 

 

"Did he start punching himself?"  Bahahahah! I actaully lol'd out loud at Sarah! 

Review - The Stylist by Rosie Nixon

The Stylist - Rosie Nixon

I didn't have any particular expectations going into this one, other than it was going to be a chicklit read and possibly featured a few celebs. It's billed as perfect for fans of The Devil Wears Prada but that's not one I've read (or watched), and for those who liked the Shopaholic books - again, not a series I've read. I do watch The Real Beverly Hills Housewives religiously though and pick up Heat and Hello and other gossip mags occasionally when the mood strikes me so I'm not completely in the dark when it comes to Celebrity culture.

 

Right from the first chapter I was hooked, it's a great story and Amber is a character who is not hard to like. She's a normal girl who gets roped into assisting stylist to the stars Mona Armstrong and it's a total circus from start to finish. I felt like I was getting some insider gossip while reading it and loved all the shenanigans and capers that Amber had to deal with while trying to style the stars for the Golden Globes, BAFTA's and ultimately the Oscars.

 

The characters were great too and I loved the ones I was meant to love and hated the one(s) I was meant to hate. Mona was particularly hard to like but at times I found myself actually feeling sorry for her. Not that the feeling lasted because overall she was repellent but at times I felt my heart go out to her a bit. Such is the power of really good storytelling.

 

I would definitely read more of this authors books if there were any and it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see this one made into a movie. I'd happily watch it.

 

A really good story and well told.

 

I received this free title from the publishers for review purposes.

 

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Another letter checked off my Silver Thistle 2016 Reading Challenge too.  Since this book has a publication date next week (Feb 11th 2016) it covers my letter 'Y' - A book published this YEAR.

 

 

Annnnd, it's 416 more pages added to my One Million pages in my lifetime challenge!  More than a 10th of the way there!

 

 112,013/1,000,000

 

 

Review - Blood and Bone by V.M Giambanco

Blood and Bone - V.M. Giambanco

Having read them all back to back I enjoyed this third book in the Alice Madison series but number two is still my favourite. I like that most of the characters appear all the way through the series but not much was added to their backstories here and I don't know much more about any of them than I did at the end of book two. Well, apart from a tiny bit of romance which I'm hoping is taken forward into the next book because that's a really interesting development.

 

It's well written and the story is a good one, it was just a bit slow to get going, I just wanted it to get to the point a bit quicker. The only thing I really have a problem with in this series though (apart from the initial pacing) is the endings. The conclusion always feel rushed and unsatisfying. It takes so long to get there and then it's over in a flash. I just wish things would start wrapping up a bit earlier to give the ending more time to unravel and be explained.

 

I wouldn't recommend just jumping in at this one. It can probably be read as a standalone but there is too much history between the characters to skip ahead and while a little of it is summarised as this story progresses there's just too much that is missed.

A solid story and I'm really looking forward to the next in the series.

 

I received this free title from the publisher for review purposes.

Review - The Dark by V.M Giambanco

The Dark: Written by V. M. Giambanco, 2014 Edition, (UK Airports) Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc [Paperback] - V.M. Giambanco

Well, this was much better than the first one (The Gift of Darkness). I liked the first one well enough but overall the pace was poor and particularly the tediously slow first half which almost prompted a DNF.   I was sent #1 and #3 in the series for review so bought this one to bridge the gap as I hate reading out of sequence.  Definitely a more rounded story with none of the previous book issues.

 

I liked that most of the characters from the earlier story were still involved and I'm getting to know them all a bit better.  I'd love a romance between Madison and Cameron but that's probably an idle wish, considering their differences. 

 

Anyway, really good story and lots of layered plot to get my teeth into.  I actually guessed who the villain was around the half way point and that's something I'm rarely able to pull off.  Fairly quick read for me and I was picking it up every chance I got see if I was right and the ending was all the more satisfying because I saw it coming.

 

On to the third one now, Blood and Bone and I hope it's more of the same.

 

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Annnnd, it's 467 more pages added to my One Million pages in my lifetime challenge!

 

 111,597/1,000,000

 

 

I've read 36 out of 437 pages.

The Dark: Written by V. M. Giambanco, 2014 Edition, (UK Airports) Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc [Paperback] - V.M. Giambanco

I learn something new every day. 

 

From page 36: "She left the truck, got into her Honda and drove off .  The pickup's lights followed her until the exit to Forks."

 

I'm like, "Woah, I wonder if it's the same Forks?!"  I thought maybe there might be more than one.  So I google where Forks is and yes, it's in Seattle (where my book is set) and as I'm scanning through what the area of Forks has to offer I see mention of the Hoh forest which is where my character is standing on page 36!  It dawns on me that the forest where Bella tells Edward that she knows he's a vampire is actually the Hoh forest. 

 

I have no idea why that would be a Zomg! moment but it really tickled me :D

 

Book Haul!

I love seeing book haul posts and always think I'll do them too...one of these days.  I lack the picture taking skillz because my phone has a crappy camera (lets blame it on the tools) so it usually doesn't get any further than the thinking stage.  I saw the post by It's a Books World today though and thought, "Right, today is the day..."

 

So, here is my book haul pics.  The first pic is from publishers for review and the second pic is books I've bought for myself, both piles are from over the last week or so.

 

 

I've just noticed that V M Giambanco's The Gift of Darkness is there in the second pic  and that was from last week and I've already reviewed that one (plus it should be in the first pile anyway *sigh*) so just ignore that one.  Currently I'm reading #2 The Dark in that series and I bought that one myself last week in preparation of getting to #3 Blood and Bone (which also should be in the first pile).  Urgh, such confusion when the covers all look too similar.

 

 

Anyhoo, picture skills aside - This is me haul!  The first pile is a mixture of genres but it's clear to me looking at the second that I'm on a definite Thriller kick when it comes to purchases!  Looking forward to all of them though - In due course :D

 

 

Review - Bear is Broken by Lachlan Smith

Bear is Broken (Leo Maxwell 1) - Lachlan Smith

I read plenty of thrillers whether they be police procedural, PI or just general crime but I haven't really dipped much into the Legal Thriller and thought this might be a fast read to get a feel for it. Turns out I do like the genre and this story has made me want to read more, but it's not without it's faults.

 

First of all there's the main character, Leo - He comes across as a right idiot. I hope he matures over the course of the next books because in this one he hasn't got a clue. He jumps from one hypothesis (and suspect) to another without much in the way of deduction, just a guess of who it might be and then he's sold on that idea until someone else puts another name in his mind and then he switches to that new person as his guilty party. I couldn't work out why he did most of what he did and/or thought, to be honest, he just shambles from one thing to another without much in the way of logical thought...well, not that I could see anyway. He's a terrible judge of character and is either very naive or gullible or a combination of both and a few times I almost gave up on him and laid the book aside for good because he was so annoying.

 

But - that didn't happen because I actually couldn't leave it sitting for long and wanted to know how it ended. It's a good story and although there are plot holes and characters/actions that make no sense it's not a terrible story. The ending felt rushed and more could have been made of it but it is what it is.

 

It sounds like I didn't like it much but I did. It's frustrating and annoying and lacking in places but the plot isn't too bad, as debuts go, and I'm hopeful that the author will find his stride in the next and later novels. I'm looking forward to them.

 

I received this free title from the publisher for review purposes.

 

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Another 255 pages added to my One Million pages in my lifetime challenge!

 

 111,160/1,000,000

 

 

Review - The Gift of Darkness by V.M Giambanco

The Gift of Darkness: Detective Alice Madison (1) - Valentina Giambanco

I very nearly gave up on this within the first 100 pages. It was very slow to get going and confusing too with all the character, timeline and tense changes. It started to pique my interest eventually but it was still touch and go for a DNF up until the halfway mark which was when the story really got under way and got my attention. For a 500+ page book to take 250 pages to hook me is disappointing. I'd hope to be well and truly gripped by the halfway mark but this one was slow going and quite boring in places.

Because of the rocky start I found it hard to keep all the minor characters straight in my head but the main characters were interesting and it dawns on me that as this is the first in a series they'll probably be fleshed out in later books. I have bought the second one in the series and am about to start that today so we'll see how that goes.

Disappointing that it didn't grab me from the start but it's a good story and it's well written, it's just tediously slow to get to the point. I'm looking forward to the next in the series though so it wasn't all bad news.

 

I received this free title direct from the publisher for review purposes.

 

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Another letter checked off my Silver Thistle 2016 Reading Challenge too so it's win/win.  This one covers my letter 'P' - A book with more than 500 pages!

 

 

Annnnd, it's 505 more pages added to my One Million pages in my lifetime challenge!

 

 110,905/1,000,000

 

 

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker

The End of the World Running Club - Adrian J Walker

Well, it's not really the end of the world as there are still lots of people left in the world after the devastating meteorite strike, but it seems like almost everyone is gone.

 

Feel a bit annoyed with this one, actually.  The first 50% I loved, totally lapped it up and felt sure this was shaping up to be a five star read.  Almost as soon as the 50% mark got breached though it went downhill fast.  Not sure what changed really but around the time the running started was when I switched off.  It went from gripping and brilliant to dreary and boring, urgh, such disappointment.

 

The guy can write and his characters are believable and engaging but all I can focus on is how crap the second half was.  I can't even be bothered to write about it, such is my disappointment...

 

*Advance reader copy received for review purposes*

I've read 40 out of 409 pages and feel like I've been here before....Plus FREEBIES!

Dead Days: The Complete Season One Collection (Books 1-6) - Ryan Casey

I'm about six chapters into this and I'm thinking "I've been here before, I think..."  I knew exactly what was about to happen and how it would happen but beyond a few chapters it all seemed new to me.

 

Hmmm, I decided it might have been a DNF but that didn't make any sense either as I was actually enjoying it.  So, a bit of digging has unearthed that this Season One book of Dead Days was actually first released as six seperate 'Episodes'.  I hate episodes.  It seems to be really popular in Post Apocalyptic fiction and I can't stand it.  I got the first episode of Dead Days right around the time that I was sick to the back teeth of being sold 'books' that were nothing more than a half dozen chapters and labeled Episode.  Then I was expected to fork out a ton of cash for the next five Episodes and usually for around £2.50 each.  Not a chance. 

 

So it turns out that I did read the first episode and actually liked it but wasn't playing the money for old rope game with the author and his chopped up book releases so it ended there.  Now, chances are I got the first 'book' for free because that's how they like to sucker you in, give you the first one for nowt then charge you through the nose if you want to read the rest but I wasn't biting.  That is until I saw the first (complete) Season one for free and downloaded it and now I can read it in its entirety, the way books are supposed to be.

 

Turns out I can get the second season free too if I subscribe to the authors newsletter so I'm all over that!  Can't beat a freebie.  If you'd like season one and two of the series then go here and sign up by entering your email address - http://ryancaseybooks.com/fanclub/ If you'd just like Season One without the newsletter sign-up then it's free on Amz UK at the moment and possibly US too.    Both books really are books and full stories of the Apocalypse done UK stylee.  I'm liking them!

My A to Z 2016 Reading Challenge

Reblogged from SilverThistle:

For the last eight years I've joined one (or more) reading challenges.  For the last eight years I've failed to complete any of them.  Not a single one.  Made of fail.  I try to pick challenges that I feel I have a decent chance of managing but when I hit a book that I don't fancy it all stalls.

 

This year I thought I'd try and give myself a fighting chance and rather than try to mold my reading to someone else's choices I'd make my own one. 

 

I'm taking part in The Silver Thistle 2016 AtoZ Reading Challenge :)

 

Wish me luck!  If I can't do this one then there is something wrong with me, LMAO

 

 

 

Finding people to follow....Um, not this one thanks.

So I clicked on Explore on the dropdown to see if anyone new is reading Zombie fiction that I can follow to get some new read recommendations and in the first four BL'ers new posts I see this:

 

 

Three of the first four posts look like code or something...

 

So I go to the persons blog and all their posts are just a jumble of nonsense that looks like nothing I'm expecting to see on a book bloggers blog.  Sinister, is the word that comes to mind.

 

 

I know that there are a lot of spam accounts on BL but this one is in a league of its own. It's like every minute there is a new post added and none of it belongs on BL.

 

WTH?

Review - Where the Bodies are Buried by Christopher Brookmyre

Where the Bodies Are Buried - Christopher Brookmyre

I started Where the Bodies are Buried last year (that feels weird to say since it's only been a few days) and it is my first finish of 2016.  I had heard lots of good things about Christopher Brookmyre so a few months ago I picked up Quite Ugly One Morning which is the first of the Jack Parlabane series and I can see why he's so popular, I loved it.  Tartan Noir with liberal doses of black humour and I bought several more of his books on the strength of it. 

 

Where the Bodies are Buried is the first in another of his series, Sharpe Investigations.  It was slow to start and I was a bit disappointed because the humour is missing from this one.  I had heard that the series was a bit light on laughs compared to his earlier work so it wasn't unexpected but still felt lacking, a bit.  I plowed on though and it was actually a great read by the end.  The ending though, gah!  I was seriously vexed by the last sentence which went something like, "She took a deep breath and found the courage to say the four words."  I was like, "Wait!  What?!  What four words?!!  What did she say????"  I brooded on it all last night and most of this morning too until suddenly it came to me!  I get it!  I know what she said and the four words make me even more keen to get to the next one now.  I won't spoil it for anyone by spilling the four words though.  You're welcome :D

 

The guy can definitely write.  Slick story, plenty of surprises, great characters and Glasgow is a brilliant setting.  The Glaswegian gallows humour is like music to my ears and although not as full on as in his earlier book it was still very well done. 

 

He has a way to go until he overtakes the king of Scottish black humour (Jay Stringer - Ways to Die in Glasgow) but he's close and I'll definitely keep working through his books.

 

This first finish allows me to cross off the first letter in my AtoZ challenge and I'm calling this one:  D - A book with lots of DEATHS

 

Also, it adds another 304 pages to my 1 Million pages challenge.

107,983/1,000,000

 

 

My A to Z 2016 Reading Challenge

For the last eight years I've joined one (or more) reading challenges.  For the last eight years I've failed to complete any of them.  Not a single one.  Made of fail.  I try to pick challenges that I feel I have a decent chance of managing but when I hit a book that I don't fancy it all stalls.

 

This year I thought I'd try and give myself a fighting chance and rather than try to mold my reading to someone else's choices I'd make my own one. 

 

I'm taking part in The Silver Thistle 2016 AtoZ Reading Challenge :)

 

Wish me luck!  If I can't do this one then there is something wrong with me, LMAO

 

 

 

Happy Hogmanay!

 

2015 sucked! 

 

Hogmanay ([ˌhɔɡməˈneː] HOG-mə-NAY) is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner.

I'm still breathing....

Well, it's been a while, no? 

 

I've been quite poorly and that's not looking to change in the near future but I've been checking out your blogs regularly and even commenting now and then when I can, but it's not enough. I miss everyone :(

 

I haven't really had it in me to make my own posts but I enjoy reading everyones news and for a while that was working...  now I feel like I want (need) to reach out a bit more though so that I don't get too isolated and will be trying to update whatever I'm reading (listening to) as I go.  Not a lot of reading going on, to be honest, but what little there is I'll try and jot down a reminder of what I thought about it because I'm forgetting what I've read almost as soon as I've read it.

 

Despite my lack of reading my book buying hasn't slowed any, if anything it has got worse!  Maybe I'll post pics of my splurges in an attempt to shame myself into actually opening some of them.

 

Anyhoo, I'm here and still breathing but mostly in a lurker capacity.